An Open Letter To Parents From A Graduate Struggling To Say Thank You
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An Open Letter To Parents From A Graduate Struggling To Say Thank You

Having a hard time saying thanks? You're not the only one.

An Open Letter To Parents From A Graduate Struggling To Say Thank You

As I sat at high school graduation waiting to get my diploma, I wasn’t thinking about much. There were people tearing up and getting sentimental, but to be honest I was just thinking about how long the ceremony was and wishing my last name was earlier in the alphabet. I was so anxious for summer to officially start and ... wow, the chairs were becoming unbearably uncomfortable. It was like the night before Christmas except with visions of road trips and beaches instead of sugarplums dancing in my head.

The next two months went by faster than I expected in a blur of grad parties, tan lines and long nights with good pals. I made countless memories with new friends, old friends, best friends and every friend in between. But I was looking at my obnoxious “DAYS UNTIL MOVE IN DAYYYYYY” reminder, and it hit me — I’m not as ready for college as I thought. Not because I want more time with my friends, whom I love dearly (which I do), or because I haven’t had my Nicholas Sparks summer romance yet (I wish), but because I have so much left to say to the people who have watched me grow since day one, my parents. But every time I try to tell them how much I love them, it always comes out as “What’s for dinner?” or something irrelevant like that. I mean, I can’t just whip out a genuine thank you during breakfast, that’d be too nonchalant. But I also don’t want to tell them late at night and have it result in a sentimental waterfall of tears. So if I could express my thoughts and feelings towards my parents while avoiding the awkwardly sappy emotions, it would be something like this:

Dear Mom and Dad,

As I rewind through the last few years, I realize that I don’t remember the last time I said thank you and truly meant it. But it is because nothing could even come close to the gratitude I feel for the two of you who brought me here on earth. Seriously, I would not be here (literally and figuratively) if it weren't for everything you have done for me. Ever since we began shopping for college necessities, I have been caught up in the college hype and haven’t shown you the appreciation you deserve. But it’s not just the past few months that you have put me before yourselves to give me everything I need. You have both always been by my side, supporting me in whatever I do — my first bike ride, tennis lesson, middle school band recital. Regardless of the occasion, you were both always there.

I will never forget when you both came to cheer me on during tryouts freshman year and brought me snacks and a reassuring note. Also, thank you for driving me to all of my tournaments and matches and games and celebrating every win with me; you two were my personal fan club. “You win some, you lose some” is a motto you both stressed, which kept me going even after bad days at school or practice (also after failing the AP Calc test; that was definitely a loss).

All of my accomplishments, athletic and academic, I owe to you both. Dad, thank you for not yelling at me when I accidentally drove into the garage the first week of getting my license, the time I ran into a mailbox and knocked off my side mirror, or the time when I knocked over seven cones my first time on the highway. Each time I thought you’d kill me, but you laughed and said, “It’s OK, it happens.” You taught me forgiveness, one of the most important qualities a person can have.

Thank you, Mom, for the countless times you made me clean my room. Without those organizational skills, my roommate would undoubtedly request to kick me out within the first month. I know that after helping me move in and listen to me complain about how small the dorms are, you will leave me to be on my own. I will lay on my bed for a really long time and cry because — for the first time — I will be away from the people who gave me the opportunities to have everything I have ever dreamed.

With Love,
Your High School Graduate

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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